Chippendale Brass Andirons, ca. 1780
They've been in the family for generations. I really don't know how many generations, but I do know the one name of one ancestor that was born about 1700 that they claim to have dated back to her.
Andirons such as these actually were made in about 1780, and we know that because the form of the andiron is neoclassical. And if you look at it from the top to bottom, you see there's a wonderful reeded urn. There's a little gadroon finial on the very top. And then it has a very classical vocabulary: it has a plinth, it has a column, it has another plinth, and it has these wonderful spurred, arched legs and ball-and-claw feet. And of course, in furniture we've looked at ball-and-claw feet fairly frequently on the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW and you know that they go with Chippendale chairs. These are Chippendale andirons. They're exceedingly rare to survive with this great size and great height. The features of the spurs on the legs not only going on the outside but also on the inside right here are exceptionally rare. And so we have an American-made pair of andirons, or firedogs, as they were known as in the 18th century-- probably about 1780. And it's the height and the pure neoclassicism of the form that make them so desirable for collectors today.
And we would estimate these somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000.
I'm thrilled to hear all this. Of course, I've always loved them just for their beauty.
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